musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours

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The Risk of Living


This pretty much sums it up :)

Originally posted on John Mitchell:

Lightning StrikesWhat makes an 80 year old woman jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet? Maybe she wants to prove to herself that she’s finally a risk taker. Perhaps it’s for the thrill. Or just because she can.

Every day we take risks. Most of the time we don’t even think about it because the risk is so stacked in our favor that there’s hardly a risk at all. Like eating raw oysters. Or taking a taxi ride in New York City.

Then of course there is the opposite of risk. Comfort. Being so comfortable where we are that we never want to risk losing what we have. But without risk, life is very dull indeed.

Sometimes it helps to think in extremes. To wonder about your life if everything was to change overnight. What would you risk everything for? For your children’s lives? Certainly. To escape an inevitable death?…

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Death by complacency…

Do you think it is possible to die from complacency? Do you think our dreams and desires can just wither up and blow away in the wind? Do you believe that each person has a purpose? That every one of us is unique by design and has some sort of special function in society? A divine reason to be? Or do we just exist, be born, work, pay bills, get old, die?

I am starting to believe that complacency is the rot that slowly eats away at the soul leaving us to wander as metaphorical zombies through life. I think it consumes our moral fibre, it kills hope, desire, morale, incentive… causes us to just give up, and leaves behind a resounding cry of “meh, good enough.”

You know the catch phrases: “It’s the way it is and the way it’s always been.” “Get with the program.” “Your dreams won’t pay the bills or put food on your plate.” “Grow up and get your head out of the clouds.” “Just work harder and you’ll eventually catch your break.” blah, blah, blah the voices of the disenfranchised. (I gave up on my dreams now it’s your turn…)

As a society we seem to suffer from a severe case of settling. It’s easier to conform to the routine of life than to take the plunge and do what we were meant to do; LIVE! Fear holds back the masses. “But this is how it’s supposed to be, right?” but if this is how it’s meant to be then why, oh why are we all so unhappy, so blah, going through the motions eagerly pleading for our days off to arrive quickly, yet never feeling like they are enough? Working at jobs that we find mediocre at best just to barely pay the bills, never having that extra bit that we swear we will start setting aside next payday, every payday, so that one day we do whatever that dream of ours is… buy a boat, go on vacation, get the tools or art supplies or technology to make it a reality.

This morning on the way to work I was listening to the radio, I discovered that minimum wage is going up again: $0.40 an hour, come this September. I’m not sure that is going to make a huge difference to people trying to survive on it but it’s a step in the right direction. Anyways the announcers went on to say that according to recent studies in order for people to survive above the “poverty line” in the area I live minimum wage would need to be $17.10 per hour. That is more than I currently make an hour and is $6.85 more than the current minimum wage. No wonder so many people seem to have given up. No wonder complacency has enveloped the masses. We are tired of fighting a losing battle. An invisible war between the haves and the have-nots. And I am not just talking about people here, those who have and those who have-not, but rather dreams, I’m referencing the war of have and have-not for our dreams.

The sacrifices we have made, most likely not even on a conscious level, in order to survive (barely) in a society that promises to provide and give in abundance if we would just work a little harder, give a little more, yet in the end it only seems  to take and continues to demand more! more! more! until there is nothing left. Nothing but an empty husk that was once ripe and full of dreams and now is barren and withered like an old woman’s womb.

I seem to cycle through my complacency. It hits in waves. A wave crashes down and I feel so overwhelmed by it I cannot fathom moving forward. Then it recedes and I feel the sun’s warmth, I see it’s brilliance and I am filled with hope. I struggle to upright myself, to make my way across the beach, just as another wave crashes down on me. But I will not give up. Even if I have to crawl across the beach, enduring the pummeling waves. I will make it, I can see the line where the waves give way and cannot reach… I will make it. How about you?


Marriage, children and… sex?

For one reason or another I found myself perusing antidotal mommy blog’s this morning, it all started when I checked out a cute post about the “glamours” of mothering young children that someone had shared on FB. Anyways that post had links to other posts and somehow I ended up checking out a post regarding how “romance” changes after kids, and another that was berating glamour magazines and their suggestions for keeping the love life “spicy” after kids. And even though each of these articles was mildly amusing in reality I found them disturbing.

Apparently once a woman has had more than 1 child she is laughably no longer interested in romance, wooing or sex in any way shape or form and her new found ideal consists of her husband submissively catering to the North American sitcom version of marriage, (you know the family with the worn out, over bearing wife, the whipped husband and a gaggle of kids). The old fantasies of rampant, erotic sex have given way to new romantic fantasies that now consist of the husband trading in his Audi for a new mini-van, or compromising on the holidays and suggesting “let’s visit your family this year”. I don’t know about you but I was under the impression that such things were the standard give and take situations that made marriages work, not grand romantic gestures. Also these scenarios all ended with the woman being totally “turned on” yet making some excuse/reason why there would be no intimacy.

I am curious if women really do lose their desire for sex after the second child comes along, because they are rattled, and just too damned exhausted (I never had this problem – with the exception of perhaps the first month or two after the new bundle of cuteness had arrived, which according to this mornings reading makes me a weirdo). According to the stereotypes I exposed myself to today, after the first baby comes a woman can do a child headcount of how many times she’s had sex since. To me this isn’t really all that funny, I actually find it rather sad. I get being tired, I get having days where you’re not interested, I understand that there are times when you don’t give a rat’s ass about anything cuz you’re just friggin’ done. But that’s normal, kids or no kids. We all have days where life knocks us down, the stress is too much, and we just want to wear track pants forever and live off of cereal cuz it’s easy. But heaven forbid that having children sucks you down to that type of existence all.the.time.

I suppose these articles left me feeling like why on earth did these women have kids if it made their life suck so much that they can’t even find a few moments each week to love themselves, and their spouses and enjoy being married. Having children does not strip us of our dignity. It does not, or at least should not, smother our desire to be wanted, or our need for both self love and received love.

I have been noticing as of late that there are a lot of stereotypes out there regarding marriage and motherhood and they are extremely unhealthy (also fatherhood, but that’s another blog post). These stereotypes are not funny, I find them comparable to the female stereotyping of yes=no, no=yes, if she’s into sex she’s a slut, if she’s not she’s a prude. All single women are bimbos who use men for money, unless they are self sufficient in which case they are hard core bitches that hate men. And if you’re married you must be “the old ball and chain” and if you have had kids then your sex life is dead and your husband is a pussy whipped weakling who on one hand doesn’t want to upset you and on the other hand is completely useless and oblivious and so he is always upsetting you. (talk about a catch 22)

Why do we seem to typify things in a negative manner?

I’m not sure this post went in the direction I was thinking when I started typing. I am not sure I am effectively portraying how I feel or saying what I wish to say. All I know for sure is that what started out as some light humorous reading ended with me feeling a bit miffed and frustrated.


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